Thursday, November 10, 2005
Hi friend of digital freedom [tdaxp comment: :-) ],
Your thoughtful gift today of $65.00 means a world of difference to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and our ability to defend digital freedom.
On behalf of our Board, staff and volunteers, thank you for your contribution and for helping to protect digital freedom.
PS: I will send you an acknowledgment letter to the mailing address listed below. Your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law. Our tax ID number is 04-3091431. EFF respects the confidentiality of its supporters and we do not lend, rent or sell our lists of donors at any time. No goods or services were provided in consideration of this contribution.
What I like best about EFF emails is that they do not accuse me of defamation!
(Well, that and I can a tax-deductible t-shirt!)
Sadly, the most recent email from NationMaster isn't so kind. Our friend Mr. Steinmetz sent me another email, to which I replied. Two big things stand out
- He asked me to post his email. I was kind enough to do so, and I posted my reply. But I have never disabled comments for any post, and whenever there has been a problem commenting I have helped someone to do so. As I've yet to take down death threats, I assure Mr. Steinmetz that his participation in the online community would be appreciated
- His email's full of untruths. I won't call them lies, because a malicious lazy incompetence seems more likely. To pick out just one
We find it disappointing but also telling that you never raised an issue with the PayPal resolution centre, which is the normal route PayPal users take when they have a dispute with a seller.
Now, that's odd. Oh, wait:
The Buyer Complaint Policy only applies to payments for tangible, physical goods which can be shipped, and excludes all other payments, including but not limited to payments for intangibles, for services or for licenses and other access to digital content.
I could belabor my conversation with PayPal, my conversation with my credit card company, but if Mr. Steinmetz's can't keep his online business straight, I don't see the point. I'm not going to raise his other points. If you are curious about them, you can email me. His contentions don't deserve the blog-space.
Or he can leave a comment.
Nor will I humorously mention that the payment processor protection NationMaster ignored/didn't know about/lied about/whatever was designed to protect certain soft-core pornography distributors: for example, this girl (a market under constant attack from See Lai and occasionally other, more prestigious blogs ;) ).
Nor will I join NationMaster Scam in its libel:
NationMaster refunded TDAXP, but refuse to apologize for anti-Semitic remarks they may have made to him. They have not removed WikiPedia's content, however.
Nor write something actually scandalous, such as
NationMaster traffics in white slavery
Because that'd just be untrue. Much like John Steinmetz's letter.
Note that I am unable to repudiate made-up allegations that NationMaster regularly enslaves mongoloids, negroids, and the mixed. But I fear the worst
More importantly, the latest email from Nation Master did not promise to call off the lawyers, did not apologize for calling a negative refer of defamation, or even fully refund my money (but why quibble)?
Which brings me back to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It made the need for legal protection for free speech personal to me. Which is why I gave the money over to the EFF:
Because they stand-up to legal persecution of free speech. And international sex traffickers like NationMaster.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
"tdaxp and His Battle with the NationMaster: A Lesson in Networks," by Mark Safranski, Zen Pundit, 7 November 2005, http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2005/11/tdaxp-and-his-battle-with-nationmaster.html".
Mark of ZenPundit was kind enough to look at NationMaster's recent extortion attempt from the perspective of networks:
Dan of tdaxp, long a blogfriend of Zenpundit is locked in a consumer complaint battle with an internet information company known as NationMaster. In the day of the dead tree media, there was a saying about the power of big city newspapers " Don't get in a pissing contest with somebody who buys ink by the barrel". Today, an updated version might go like this " Don't get in a pissing contest with somebody who is part of a scale free network"
In addition to Dan's most recent post he has previously posted here ( where you can read Nationmaster's bullying, pseudo-legal email correspondence) and here ( the original post that ticked off Nationmaster's executives, including one " John Steinmetz").
Though Mark comes perilously close to unmasking my true identity...
It is theoretically possible that Dan is a clever but psychotic con man posing as a grad student simply to bilk helpless corporations out of fairly earned dollars - but I kind of doubt it. It seems more likely that some arrogant a-hole in a corner office at NationMaster reacted dismissively when Dan asked for his money back and then decided that Dan " could be rolled" by pressuring him with a frivolous lawsuit.
... one of his points is on the importance of "hubs" that "that [connect] otherwise unrelated bloggers." That made me realize that I had no central, up-to-date list of blogs that mention Nation Master's attempted extortion. So now at the first part of the left-hand column of NationMaster Watch will be that list. As if now, it contains
- Coming Anarchy
- Dawn's Early Light
- I Hate Linux I
- I Hate Linux II
- Jim River Report I
- Jim River Report II
- Jim River Report III
- Junk Politics
- Ryne McClaren
- SimonWorld I
- SimonWorld II
- tdaxp I
- tdaxp II
- tdaxp III
- tdaxp IV
- tdaxp V
- The Metropolis Times
Mark's analysis is highly recommended. Please read it -- and read his symposium on war and globalization while you're at it.
Monday, November 07, 2005
"NationMaster v. TDAXP," by Curzon, Coming Anarchy, 7 Novembe, 2005, http://www.cominganarchy.com/archives/2005/11/07/nationmaster-v-tdaxp/.
Adam from The Metropolis Times, Bill from Dawn's Early Light, Brendan from I Hate Linux, Curzon from Coming Anarchy, Ryne from Ryne McClaren: A Weblog, and others, were kind enough to blog on my recent troubles with NationMaster
As Curzon said:
I say some controversial stuff on this site but I’ve never been threatened (and the comments here are generally awesome, save for the occasional lunatic). Poor Dan of TDAXP has been threatened by jihadists, blocked in China, and now threatened with a libel suit by NationMaster.com. You can read the correspondence that led to this event at the prior link or at the new blog NationMasterWatch.
Was Grendel right that tyranny is just at the doorstep for Americans? No. A negative review of prior services, even if the faulty services have been solved, does not constitute defamation or libel. And if recent suits of a similar nature are any hints, those who file libel suits generally embaress themselves and give the defendant heaps of publicity..
And not only that, Curzon used his artistic wizardry to create a graphic representation of NationMaster's recent aggression
I want to thank everyone for seeing NationMaster's assault and giving advise. Particularly, I was relieved to be assured by the very knowledgeable Curzon that what I wrote was not defamation. With that in mind, here is an excerpt from the original negative review:
Nation Master will bill you even after you cancel.
Confused? Let's try again
nationmaster.com will bill you even after you cancel
I first joined this site when I needed raw data for my graduate thesis. In the end it was useless for me, but the site is a good waste of 15 minutes.
nationmaster.com is not worth the three quarterly payments I made, the two after I stopped using or, or the one after I first demanded a refund.
The bill implies someone named Luke Metcalfe is involved in this scam. Well Lucas, if you're reading, stop it.
Any everyone else: avoid Nation Master.
The transcript of NationMaster's shakedown is at the new blog, NationMaster Watch.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
What do radical Islamists, Communist China, and NationMaster have in common?
All three want tdaxp to shut up
- The first intimidation I received for this blog was in retaliation for a humorous photo gallary. Specifically, azman wrote
don't play with mujahid.. Allah with us.. we will find u ..
while "mujahidah" opined
what a loser man,if you wanted to fight real mujhaids u'd be dead by now.get a life u wimp
- The second intimidation was much quieter -- China just blocked this blog without telling me. Still, no threats, so that's a step up. I tried to handle it with humor.
- The third intimidation was a series of threatening emails from John Steinmetz of Nation Master
Specifically, they are
# First Threatening Email
# Response to the First Email
# Second Threatening Email
# Reponse to the Second Email
# Third Email
# Reponse to the Third Email
# John Steinmetz's Email Renewing Legal Threats
For now, I don't know what to do. The negative review Mr. Steinmetz complained about -- that he falsely accused of defaming his company -- is down. He never mentiond anything wrong with the second and third posts, and he even said that the person I criticized in them (Viswa Priya) no longe works for the company.
Suggestions? Help? Ideas.
For now I have started NationMaster Watch to allow me to keep track of all this without clogging up the tdaxp main page, but I am searching for something better than caving into the hostile "content managers" and staff at NatMast.
NationMaster has a record of such thuggishness, and I do not feel comforatble with censoring this blog after the vaguest threat of "lawyers." Free Speech, consumer rights, and censorship are too important for that... I hope.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
I apologize for the small text, but this shows that my Nationmaster pages are #1 and #2 in Germany -- ahead of nationmaster.com itself! -- and that a friend's page on the ordeal is #5.
The American results aren't quite as good -- #2 for myself, #4 for Brendan. My guest post on aaron.mmi.net isn't in the top ten at all... oh well. This does show the power of the blogosphere in our flat world.
Nationmaster customer-disservice-rep-cum-shakedown-artist Viswa Priya once told me that asking for a refund for service I never used and had requested canceled was "not legal or ethical." (He/she was referring to the act of asking. Out of ethics and legality I never mentioned these blog posts. I'm not going to have my ethics questioned over some stupid bill.) In Priya's steep world, customers do what they are told. No more.
Sorry for the interruption. Regular blogging continues below...
Saturday, April 09, 2005
"Dear Colleagues," by Viswa Priya, hydroforum, 12 October 2004, http://hydroforum.com/phpbbforo/archive/o_t__t_95__water-statistics.html.
"Hello Daniel," email from "Priya," nationmaster.com, 8 April 2005.
I hadn't heard this before:
...asking for a refund is not legal or ethical on your part.
As you have paid for the next three months anyway, I suggest that you
utilize our services for the period and cancel just before the next
date of payment
I blogged before on my trials with nationmaster. In spite of of a direct, person-to-person request to cancel my subscription, they decided to keep billing me. I haven't used their crummy service in months. Their response? I should keep enjoying their service.
Not only has nationmaster.com refused to refund my payments, they refuse to make a per diem refund.
My only contact is a supposedly named "Priya" with the genetic email of firstname.lastname@example.org. A quick google search revealed a "Viswa Priya" hawking nationmaster instead of, you know, actually responding to customer requests.
If you want statistical information, there are some very good sources on the internet. Nationmaster is not one of them.
Friday, April 01, 2005
Update: NationMaster is now entirely free. NationMaster assures potential users that it is not a scam site, and is attempting to nullify any problems they had in their billing and support areas.
Update 2: As of Nation Master's most recent email, NationMaster's problems have apparently returned. For more information, please read NationMaster Watch
Adam at The Metropolis Times gives a good summary of what has happened. Another synopsis is also available.